At the recent 8th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival, we had the pleasure to conduct the inaugural Beer & Cheese pairing session. Our friends at the Rogue Creamery (event hosts) were gracious, had everything together and the events was sold out – SRO even! Proof positive that festivals and events should offer fun educational sessions for the guests and attendees.
A BIG THANK YOU to Tom, Tasha, David, Carey, Anna, Francis, and the whole crew of Rogue Creamery for putting on such a well run and well received festival. Seriously – it’s one of our favorites because it goes sooooo smoothly. And it’s very well attended because of that – the guests have a great time, which also makes it a good investment for us as well.
The audience in the cozy room were engaged, polite and had some terrific questions about beer specifically. A bonus for me as the leader of the session was that friend and colleague Matt Van Wyk, brewer of Oakshire Brewing, was also in attendance.
I’m one of those people who always welcomes anyone in the room – most especially the folks who are directly tied to the going-ons. Matt supplied 2 of the 4 beers I chose to pair for the session. He was gracious, fun and chimed in & answered questions with thoroughness and tact. I know the guests enjoyed having a brewer in the mix as well, particularly one that could speak to the beers in front of us.
The other brewer was in fact at the festival, as their brewery booth, enlightening more folks about beer – Larry Chase, Standing Stone.
Since we rarely hand out paper programs that people have to then schlep around or toss or recycle, we always post menus on our site following an event. As promised, here’s the tasty line up we used to edutain and converse about.
- Standing Stone Amber Ale with Pholia Farms Takelma cheese
- Standing Stone I Love Oregon Ale with Willamette Valley Cheese Company Havarti – the creaminess really stood out with the beer.
- Oakshire Brewing Watershed IPA with Rogue’s Flora Nelle, natural-rinded bleu cheese
- Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout with Rogue’s Pistol Point cheese, with paprika and chipotle
The line up was a great cross-section of beers and foods to pair. The best ingredient of the tasting: The People. We’re already excited to get back to it next year.
As requested, we’ll cover why beer and cheese do in fact pair so nicely later this week. Thanks to Australian guest Mashka for asking. Stay tuned!